Don Drysdale on “The Brady Bunch” and the tragic life of the first Mrs. Brady

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Don’t lie: you’ve done it. You’ve done exactly what Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times describes in this article from the other day:

Baseball fans, who seem to have more time to waste than normal people, love to compile All-This or All-That teams: lineups made of real players who meet some criterion. The All-Steroids Team. The All-Mustache Team. The idea is to find one player for each position who fits the category.

Genzlinger makes up one of his own: the All-TV-Cameo Team.  Players who made a walk-on appearance on some scripted television show.  Difficulty: no “Seinfeld” or “Simpsons” allowed. He also limits himself to only a couple California or New York players because that would be too easy.

Because of that rule he has neglected one of my favorites ever: Don Drysdale appearing on “The Brady Bunch,” telling Greg Brady that he could be a bonus baby, thereby causing Greg to big-time everyone and neglect his responsibilities.

I can’t remember the setup — maybe Mike was designing an addition for Drysdale’s home or something — but I did always wonder if he was related to Mike’s boss who, you will recall, was named “Mr. Drysdale.” Probably got a discount on Mike’s valuable architect services. Or maybe there is some elaborate back story we never knew about in which Drysdale himself was both a pitcher and an architect. That would be something. UPDATE: Crap. As noted in the comments below, I blew this one. Mr. Drysdale was on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Mike’s boss, I am now remembering, was “Mr. Phillips.”  I think I’m just gonna quit for the day.

By the way: Wasn’t Greg just the biggest rube? Prone to suggestion. Remember how he stole the other high school football team’s playbook that time? Remember when he stole the other school’s mascot? All because someone told him he should. If his life didn’t end up with him being the wheel-man/fall-guy for a robbery of some kind I’d be shocked. Dude looked like he was gonna go through life never knowing quite what happened to him.

Probably expected, of course. I mean, his natural mother disappeared completely and was never spoken of again and was never any part of her sons’ lives. Just tragic, really. She probably ran off to join the Manson Family or something. L.A. in 1969 was a dark place for many people.

OK, baseball needs to come back or else I’m gonna do another 2,000 words on the social dysfunction and pathos of “The Brady Bunch.” Which is fine, but may get a bit uncomfortable and difficult when we get to Jan.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.